Goddamn, I feel like I really need a break from the the All-Star Break. The lack of Tigers baseball, Chris Berman’s excruciating calls that have ruined the Home Run Derby, and the soulless corporate marketing platform the #ASG has become have all conspired to turn what used to be an awesome celebration of baseball into a sad and boring week.
The latest example of corporate greed defiling the beauty and honor of baseball occurred Tuesday night when MLB and FOX didn’t hesitate to fully exploit the moment to push the embarrassingly over-hyped Derek Jeter Retirement Death March and the release of his Nike/Jordan brand “RE2PECT” marketing campaign. The fact that The Captain‘s numbers this year certainly didn’t justify his presence (as Deadspin so honestly and ingeniously depicted) and the pure narcissism of orchestrating a farewell tour for yourself are annoying enough, but the fact that the broadcast partners were so gleefully blinded by it that they failed to even think to mention the passing of 15-time all-star and baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is simply irresponsible and gross.
I’ve never been convinced the legend of Jeter would have reached it’s mythic heights if it hadn’t been built in New York and it’s overbearing Yankee lore. It’s interesting to consider how different things would be if roles were reversed with Jeter spending his career in relative anonymity in San Diego and Gwynn in NYC. Would the famously humble Gwynn have ever subjected us to the same obnoxious propaganda of A-listers like Jay-Z, Billy Crystal, and Spike Lee obediently tipping their Evil Empire caps in his honor? Or would Jeter have been treated with the same amount of RE2PECT?
Somehow I doubt it.